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When is The Best Time to Cruise to Norway? Seasons, Price, Weather and More

If you are considering a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords you may be wondering when is the best time to visit. 

I have cruised to Norway many times and during this post, we will explore the best time to visit with regard to weather, price, and availability.

norway norwegian fjords cruise ship view

When is The Best Time to Cruise to The Norwegian Fjords?

The best time to cruise to Norway is in July or August.

Alternatives include the “shoulder” seasons – May, June, and September which can often be much cheaper but still provide good weather. 

Norwegian Fjords cruises do happen year-round although the choice of cruise lines is dramatically less outside of the summer season.

Norwegian Fjords Cruise Calendar

Norway Stavanger
Visiting Stavanger on a Norwegian Fjords cruise with P&O Cruises

Should You Cruise to Norway in Winter?

  • Good for: Northern Lights, Fewer Crowds
  • Bad for: Variety of Cruise Lines, Day Light Hours

Hurtigruten is a Norwegian cruise line that offers cruises consistently to the Norwegian Fjords year-round.

In January, February, and March, Hurtigruten cruises head in search of the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights Promise

Who Are Hurtigruten?

Hurtigruten are an expedition cruise line that focuses on cruises to Norway and Antarctica.

They are heavily focused on the destinations and provide lots of interesting excursions. 

The ships were originally designed to transport mail (and still do) as a result you won’t see all of the amenities that you’d find on new British or American cruise ships.

Hurtigruten does welcome cruisers of all ages but they don’t have kids clubs or entertainment onboard for children.

Hurtigruten offer a “Free cruise guarantee” if you don’t see the Northern Lights on your sailing

Northern Lights Promise
For those who have your heart set on witnessing the swirling glow of the aurora borealis, we make you a promise no one can match:

If the Northern Lights do not occur within sight of your ship during your voyage, we will give you a 6-day southbound or 7-day northbound Original Coastal Express Classic Voyage FREE OF CHARGE*.

* terms and conditions apply


Other cruise lines do offer Northern Lights sailings. I took one of these Northern Lights sailings with the British cruise line, Fred Olsen.

Find out all about that memorable cruise here:

Other Cruise Lines

Other cruise lines do cruise the Norwegian Fjord during this time but they tend to be few and far between.

It may be possible to find a Norwegian Fjords cruise with Saga, Viking or Fred Olsen during the winter months.

Photo: Stian Klo – Hurtigruten

Daylight Hours

It is worth remembering that in Norway in the winter the days are extremely short.

In places like Tromso the sun never actually rises above the horizon.

Even in places lower down like Oslo, they only experience around 6 hours of daylight in January.

Norway Stavanger

Should You Cruise to Norway in Spring?

  • Good for: Price
  • Bad for: Weather

The Norwegian Fjords really begin to wake up in April and May.

The number of cruise lines available increases dramatically.

Cruise lines such as Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, MSC, and Princess arrive on the scene.

Cruises in the spring can be much cheaper than later on in the season – so if you want to grab yourself a bargain this can be a good time to do so.

The UK Easter holidays can briefly increase the cruise prices, but in May the prices usually reduce again.

Norwegian Fjords Rain in June

What Is The Weather Like in Norway During April and May?

It is likely to be relatively cold with an average temperature for May of 12c (53f). Norway does have a lot of rainfall so you should always make sure you pack a coat.

The weather in the spring can be unpredictable. That said, the weather at any time of year can be unpredictable in the Norwegian Fjords!

I wouldn’t let this put you off cruising at this time of year though, I cruised to the Norwegian Fjords at the end of June and still had rain every day. It is just luck of the draw.

I took a cruise to Norway onboard Anthem of the Seas. Find out all about that trip below:

To find out how to make the most of your Norwegian Fjord cruise, even in the rain, make sure you read this post:

Norwegian Fjords Cruise 32 Tips

Should You Cruise to Norway in Summer?

  • Good for: Weather
  • Bad for: Price

This is by far the peak season for Norwegian Fjords cruises.

Prices peak in late July and August during the school holidays.

The Norwegian Fjords are a very popular destination for family cruises because many depart from the UK and only take a week or two.

What Is The Weather Like in Norway During June, July, and August?

This is the warmest part of the year. The average temperature in July is around 20c (68f), temperatures can on occasion reach 30c (86f) although this is not common.

I took a Norwegian Fjords cruise in late June with P&O Cruises. Despite it being the warmest time of the year it rained, every single, day.

If you are from the UK this might not come as a surprise. The weather in Norway is comparable to that of the summer in the UK.

Rather annoyingly the week before I took my Norwegian Fjords cruise Norway experienced a heatwave and had temperatures of 30c+!

Norway Cruise Pros

Finding The Midnight Sun:

At this time of the year, Norway experiences long days.

In some parts of Norway like Tromso in the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t actually set at all in summer.

I took a cruise with Viking in August which was called “In Pursuit of The Midnight Sun” which was wonderful. It was daylight most of the time.

If you are somebody who doesn’t sleep very well with daylight outside it may be worth booking an inside cabin if cruising to Norway in summer.

I could sleep anywhere so this doesn’t affect me but I know a few people who struggle to sleep with any light coming in around the curtains!

To learn more about the midnight sun and what it is like to cruise into in, check out this post:

Viking Sea, Into The Midnight Sun. 

Cruises Are Relaxing Midnight Sun Viking Sea

Should You Cruise to Norway in Autumn/Fall?

  • Good for: Price, Autumnal Colours
  • Bad for: Weather, Variety of Cruise Lines

The weather gets a little bit more temperamental into September and October.

Most cruise lines have left the Norwegian Fjords by October so there are very limited options.

Cruises which still go to the Norwegian Fjords at this time tend to do so as part of a longer cruise.

What Is The Weather Like in Norway During September and October?

The average temperature is 13c (55f) in September, falling in 7c (44f) in October.

Storms are more likely at this time of year which may mean an increase in ports being cancelled or itineraries amended.

I’ve been on many cruises where my itinerary has been changed, sometimes this happens months in advance but sometimes only a day or a few hours ahead of the visit.

To find out more about why this can happen and what you can do about it, check out this post:

Do You Get Compensation For Missed Cruise Ports? 

Should You Cruise to Norway in November or December?

  • Good for: Northern Lights
  • Bad for: Variety of Cruise lines, Weather

I personally would say that this time of the year is the worst time to visit the Norwegian Fjords.

Your chances of seeing the Northern Lights do increase as you get further in December and January but November doesn’t really have any redeeming features. Of course, this is just my opinion...

I usually love cruising in November because it is cheap but prices don’t really drop in the Norwegian Fjords at this time as there are so few options.

What Is The Weather Like in Norway During November and December?

In November the average temperature is 0c (32f) and this drops to -7c (19f) in December.

emma cruises husky farm fred olsen excursion
Husky farm visit on a Fred Olsen Norway excursion

Before You Go

If you are thinking about booking your first cruise, Norway can be a great choice. Find out why here:

7 Reasons Why Your First Cruise Should be to Norway

When i travelled to Norway on Anthem of the Seas, my parents were doing exactly the same trip on MSC’s Virtuosa. Find out how the two cruises compared here:

We Took The Same Cruise With MSC and Royal Caribbean: Differences and Comparison

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.